D.C. Circuit Vacates FAA Decision That Failed To Consider Effect On Competition
On May 21, 2021, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated a decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to retire takeoff and landing “slots” forfeited by Southwest Airlines (“Southwest”) at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport (“EWR”), finding that, by failing to consider what impact the move would have on airline competition at the airport, the FAA had acted arbitrary and capricious and without substantial evidence, in violation of the federal Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg wrote the opinion, which was joined by Judges Karen L. Henderson and Justin R. Walker. The case is Spirit Airlines, Inc. v. United States Department of Transportation, 19-1248 (D.C. Cir., May 21, 2021).